Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Spending a penny in Rome.

This was taken 6 years ago on a visit to Rome. It came up on my photo memories page. A colleague of mine is visiting Rome this week and was asking me about the best and worst things about Rome.
The best was the weather in May. Trees in the streets laden with oranges. Lovely food and of course beautiful architecture everywhere you look.
The worst was PUBLIC TOILETS virtually non existent. When I did find one I walked out again. We had an afternoon pot of tea in a cafe overlooking one of the most famous landmarks just to use their facilities. Cost us 20 Euros for the relief.
I am not a seasoned traveller by any means. I have not renewed my passport or intend to at the moment. I remember flying into London Heathrow on the way home from Rome. It was a glorious clear May evening. As we circled ready to land, it reminded me of the opening scene of East Enders. London basking in the evening sun. A glistening River Thames curving around the landmarks. Of course I know the Thames is brown when you are up close. The landmarks are surrounded by noise and scaffolding. I still think East or West, Home is Best... even though I moan about the state of our public facilities. At least we have some. My children have downloaded the App Toilet Finder on my phone. They thought I would be entertained by it. Of course, if I am out and about in our motorhome I can use my own facilities. Number ones only though...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Let’s pretend

This is the country park on the edge of Witney, a local Cotswold town. It is a man made lake on the edge of the industrial estate. It looks a haven of peace and loveliness, which in many ways it is... if you are hard of hearing.
The Oxford to Cheltenham A40 dual carriageway roars above you, as do the aircraft, as it is on the flight path for RAF Brize Norton. They fly over to come in to land. There were a few joggers, children on scooters. Some walkers like us. It was a pleasant summer evening walk. I wish you could block out the noise of the modern age but it is part of how we live now. Better though that this space is used and enjoyed as it was just a gravel hole full of water to begin with. No need to water the garden tonight. It had a good soaking this morning and I think it may have another tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Weymouth weekend.

We enjoyed the Royal Wedding weekend in Weymouth with beautiful sunshine. We listened to the service as we enjoyed a cold drink in a cafe. This cafe had the radio on behind us. It is at sandsfoot cove in a small park looking out over the sea. I was impressed they had paper straws and a recycling bin. The ladies room behind the cafe gets nil points though. No seat and not clean and cared for. Needs must so I had to use it as no other options in Sandsfoot Cove where we were.
When we got back to the lodge where we stay, we watched the highlights. What a brilliant do. Us Brits know how to put on an occasion. The queen looked lovely as always but I thought she was looking rather tired. She is as old as my dad who likes an afternoon snooze. I hope she and Philip were given the opportunity to slip off for a doze. A perfect day for it. There was a lot of bunting and lunch parties going on at the site where we were. Sitting on their decks with prosecco and the like. It shows we Brits really enjoy a royal wedding whatever we say about costs and security. I think it holds us together as a nation. We have so much to be proud of. 
I never cease to be amazed at our beautiful coastal scenery. This was the view from Portland of the chesil beach.

We could actually see the lodge from here. We took Mum in law with us for a treat. (She was having  a nana nap when this was took). After the wedding highlights we went down into Weymouth for a paddle. The crowds had abated and we got a disabled parking spot on the promenade.
A lovely weekend. At the end of every sunny day this was our view across the fleet.
I still wouldn’t think of renewing my passport. A holiday abroad would not have trumped this.

Monday, 21 May 2018

The grapevine

I’m feeling proud of this  grapevine in my garden room. Just a year old, it has a good bunch of grapes forming. I followed the instructions when I bought it and used a compost mixed with soil. I didn’t over water and it seems very happy. It is a white dessert grape.

Spurred on by success I bought another one from Aldi. A black grape. Used the same methods and this one is not so happy. It has grown but not at the same pace. Maybe it is the variety, but it just doesn’t look like it is thriving. It just cost me 1.99 from Aldi so I will have to wait longer to see if it will come to anything. 
Another success is a healthy avocado plant.
Home grown from a seed. I had one before that got quite big but Jack Frost finished it off in the greenhouse. This one will have more care and attention. It is very satisfying to see the shoots and leaves pop up. I also lost a lemon tree in the frost so I am trying to get another one going. No luck yet. They take ages.
As I write this there has been a shower of rain. Unexpected but the garden will relish it. 
I am a bit of a fan of solar lights so my mother bought me this from Aldi.

It gives a lovely warm glow in the corner at dusk and lasts a good few hours.
I don’t like the thought of garden chintz going into landfill so I hope the lights I have last many years. 
The garden ones have glass globes and the grapevine ones are micro lights on a copper wire. I’m trying to minimise plastic. They do bring me pleasure though and no running costs. Just a good bit of British sunshine.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The grass is never greener and going potty.

Ok so Wordpress is just as tiresome so I give up trying to be a technical success. What you see is what you are going to get. I will do some short reviews of touring sites and use tripadvisor to inform others of what I consider is a fair opinion.
Enough of that stuff. Back to normal. The garden awaits my attention. The greenhouse is full to the brim but I daren’t plant much out as we are expecting frost tonight.
I have neglected some shrubs for many years and they have become very sickly and potbound. I painted these cheapies from Poundstretcher and I am giving their poor old roots some room.

This poor old rhododendron is about to flower. It didn’t even bother last year so that will be next to be repotted.

The roots have actually grown into the wood of this pot so I am waiting for the OH to give me a hand. I don’t want to damage it too much.

These black tall pots were 2 for 6 pounds. The Lily plants 
are a pound a pot in Morrisons and I planted some white cosmos as well.  Not many pennies spent but I need a pot update. Some have been with me for longer than I care to remember.

We have made a start on the next garden project. OH has cleared the ground in the corner for a summerhouse. It will be a place to relax with a cuppa. The money will come from Steve’s legacy and I hope myself and the family will enjoy using it. It is a shame we have to cover up the original Cotswold stone wall but I need this corner to be put to good use. 
Always plenty to do in this garden. I had to put sunblock on my nose and wear a hat. Even though there is a cool breeze the sun catches you out. So,  I am back blogging and putting up with the fact my  technical devices won’t always work as a team. At age 57 I think I should accept that technical stuff is not one of my strengths. I don’t actually want to learn how to do new things. I am a fan of the Luddites. They never had the stress of the i pad.